Body issues at 4? (long) — The Bump
Pre-School

Body issues at 4? (long)

My 4yo DD does not like swimming (getting her head in the water) but she does love to lounge around in my parents pool.  She didn't want to go back to swimming lessons but she is starting up again next week.  I told her tough - if she wants to be around pools this summer, she HAS to be comfortable in the water.  That made her ok with it but made a comment that really made me sad.

She asked if other kids will be in the class and when I told her there would, she said she thought she looked funny in a bathing suit...WHAT?!?!   I want to preface that she never watches tv shows with us that's not kid appropriate and I never never never talk about any "body issues" because I do not want her to adopt that mode of thinking. Its funny because she goes to gymnastics and has no qualms whatsoever about parading around in her leotard.

I had no idea how to respond to her but I  told her that everyone's body is built differently and that's the beauty of it - that its your body and no one has one just like it!  That bodies come in many different sizes and shapes and to be proud of the one you have. Not to mention 4 year olds are too young to be worrying about things like that!  Did I say the right thing!  She just said OK and started talking about other random things. BTW she is actually pretty slender and is true to her size (4).

Married: 10/2003
TTC: 07/2005 - diagnosed with PCOS
IUI# 1: 10/2006 - BPF! Daughter born 07/2007 :)
TTC: 06/2010
IUI #2: 12/2010 BFN
IUI #3: 08/2011 BFN
IUI #4: 09/2011 BFN
IUI #5: 02/03/2012 BFP!
Beta #1: 50
Beta #2: 132
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Re: Body issues at 4? (long)

  • I think you handled it beautifully.

    My response would have been:  "What do you mean by "funny""?

    Could be that her bathing suit is riding up in the back and it makes her uncomfortable.

    Could be that she sees other girls in a 2 piece and feels like she should have one too (or 1 piece).

    Could be that she doesn't like the color. 

    This could have zero to do with body issue so I'd clarify first before becoming too concerned - especially if she doesn't blink at her gymnastics leotards.

     

    Our IF journey: 1 m/c, 1 IVF with only 3 eggs retrieved yielding Dylan and a lost twin, 1 shocker unmedicated BFP resulting in Jace, 3 more unmedicated pregnancies ending in more losses.
    Total score: 6 pregnancies, 5 losses, 2 amazing blessings that I'm thankful for every single day.
  • Thank you for this!   Of course as a parent my mind goes to the most serious issue but you are right!   I will have to ask her more questions next time. I was completely not prepared for that but it could be simply the fact she wore two pieces (for restroom purposes) and the other girl in class wore a 1 piece. 

    I let her pick out her own bathing suit yesterday for the lessons to make her more excited.

    Married: 10/2003
    TTC: 07/2005 - diagnosed with PCOS
    IUI# 1: 10/2006 - BPF! Daughter born 07/2007 :)
    TTC: 06/2010
    IUI #2: 12/2010 BFN
    IUI #3: 08/2011 BFN
    IUI #4: 09/2011 BFN
    IUI #5: 02/03/2012 BFP!
    Beta #1: 50
    Beta #2: 132
    [url=http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=UBB&utm_campaign=tickers][img]http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt127fa0.aspx[/img][/url]

    <div><a target=_blank href=http://www.pregnology.com/pregnancy/10/26/2012><img border=0 width=400 height=80 src='http://www.pregnology.com/preggoticker80/330000/FF9933/My%20pregnancy/10/26/2012.png' alt='Pregnancy%20ticker'></a>
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  • imagesalesmom:

     Of course as a parent my mind goes to the most serious issue

    I don't have a daughter but I did have an eating disorder in my teens so I have zero doubt that my mind would have gone exactly where yours did.

     It's much easier to dissect stuff like this after the fact and so much harder to think fast when the situation presents itself.

    Don't doubt yourself, Mamma.  You handled it perfectly.  Even if it's not actually a body image issue on her part I think they're never too young to hear the message you sent her. 

    Our IF journey: 1 m/c, 1 IVF with only 3 eggs retrieved yielding Dylan and a lost twin, 1 shocker unmedicated BFP resulting in Jace, 3 more unmedicated pregnancies ending in more losses.
    Total score: 6 pregnancies, 5 losses, 2 amazing blessings that I'm thankful for every single day.
  • I don't have much to add, but I do think you handled it well.  I'm responding mostly because it's so funny how perception can completely shade a conversation.  When I first read the post, I thought exactly what she wrote about wondering where DD got the idea to worry about her body/body image etc and I always worry about that with DD, who to be honest, is a bit chunky.  But then I had to laugh with relief when I read the second post and realized that it is so TRUE, it is most likely not at all about her body or self image and more about something far more tangible...like a wedgie.  :)    Either way, it was a pleasant reminder to always be on the lookout for the serious issues, but to remember that especially at this age, sometimes the problem/solution is a lot more concrete.   Thank you ladies!  
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  • My 4 yr old daughter is the same way.  She will be 5 in July but this started right around the age of 4.   She is outgoing and funny and cute.  I think she's beautiful. 

    It started last year at bathing suit time.  She would only wear a one piece so no one could see her belly or laugh at her.   Okay - we only wore one pieces last year.  That was the end of the issue. 

    She started pre-school in September.  After a month, she started with the "will they laugh at me?" when she was getting dressed for school.   I told her "no".  Everyone dresses differently but everyone always looks nice.  I let her pick out most of her clothes, she's picky with the shoes.  When she's done, I always tell her how nice she looks.  I also drop her off at school and say the same things to her friends (that they look so nice/pretty) as I drop her off. 

    I asked her about a month ago why she thinks she would look funny at school?  Did someone say she looks funny?    She said no.  I honestly think it's just a self-conscious thing, that I was not expecting to start so soon.  I was thinking maybe 1st or 2nd grade. 

    The joys of raising a daughter. 

  • imagehowleyshell:

    I think you handled it beautifully.

    My response would have been:  "What do you mean by "funny""?

    Could be that her bathing suit is riding up in the back and it makes her uncomfortable.

    Could be that she sees other girls in a 2 piece and feels like she should have one too (or 1 piece).

    Could be that she doesn't like the color. 

    This could have zero to do with body issue so I'd clarify first before becoming too concerned - especially if she doesn't blink at her gymnastics leotards.

     

     

     

    Good points. I'm always surprised when DD comes home from school requesting or changing her mind about things because of the other girls in her class.....we had to get jeans because Mia has them and a solid pink sheet for our nap cot because Yasmine has one.  Sort of funny but really surprised me that is starts so early. 

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